Ein Bericht von Bruno Koch, Teilnehmer des 33. PPPs
“Wir werden eine Hand reichen, wenn ihr gewillt seid, eure Faust zu lösen” mit einem dieser Zitate in seiner Amtsantrittsrede 2008 eroberte Obama nicht nur die Stimmen vieler Wähler in den USA, sondern sendete auch ein hoffnungsvolles Signal an die Weltgemeinschaft. Die Politik aus dem Weißen Haus sollte durch eine neue, erfrischende Art auf innerer sowie internationaler Ebene punkten und somit dem Rest der Welt vermitteln, dass die USA Partner bei Lösungen von Problemen dieser Welt sein wollen und nicht einfach alles im Alleingang machen, wie viele glauben.
Die Vergabe des Friedensnobelpreises 2009 sollte diese Idee einer neuen und friedlichen Ära nachträglich unterstützen.
Die Euphorie nach Obamas Wahl war groß, die Punkte auf seiner Agenda waren ehrgeizig, wie hat sich Brack Obama rückblickend geschlagen?
Als Außenstehender fallen mir spontan Relikte aus der Vergangenheit wie das Gefangenenlager in Guantanamo ein, welches wegen scharfer Verletzungen von Menschrechten geschlossen werden sollte. Tatsächlich existiert das Lager noch heute, auch wenn der Betrieb gedrosselt wurde.
Als ein weiteres Relikt lässt sich die „Eiszeit“ mit Kuba auflisten. Die nun aufgehobene Isolation, die reichende Hand nach 50 Jahren, ist ein guter Start für eine versöhnliche Zukunft. Das viel diskutierte Atomwaffenabkommen mit dem Iran wird von den politischen Institutionen sehr wechselhaft gewertet, sollte unter Betrachtung der ausgehandelten Punkte aber als Erfolg des eingeschlagenen Kurses gewertet werden.
Im Bereich der Rechte von Minderheiten und Rassismus blicken die USA aktuell auf äußerst angespannte Entwicklungen. Zwar wurden Erfolge, wie die nun einheitlich legale Eheschließung von Homosexuellen, beschlossen, Rassismus dahingegen ist aktueller denn je.
In vielen Teilen der Welt hat sich das Ansehen der USA nachhaltig verbessert. Obama hat sich sehr bemüht, die Wogen insbesondere zu den muslimischen Ländern zu glätten und das Schwarz-Weiß-Denken seines Vorgängers Busch zu beenden. In Deutschland haben die USA und ihre Regierung allerdings einen spürbaren Imageverlust durch den Abhörskandal der NSA erlitten.
Als Fehleinschätzung wird sich Barack Obama im Nachhinein die möglicherweise zu naiv gesetzten Ziele eines Neustarts mit Russland oder einer friedlichen Ausarbeitung des Konflikts zwischen Israel und Palästina eingestehen müssen. Auch eine Mitschuld an der zu lange unbeachteten Terrorgruppe ISIS kann Obama angelastet werden.
Die Amerikaner lieben Ihren Präsidenten nicht, dennoch erfreut er sich aktuell nach stetig wachsender Wirtschaft an zunehmender Fürsprache. Eine wichtige Rolle in der Präsidentschaft Barack Obamas spielte seine Frau und First Lady Michelle, die mit ihrer lockeren und smarten Art viele Menschen für sich gewinnen konnte. Ihr werden insgeheim Chancen für eine künftige führende politische Rolle in den USA nachgesagt.
Im Folgenden bewerten vier Amerikaner die scheidende Regierung Obamas und nehmen Stellung zu aktuellen politischen Fragen
2008 – 2016
Jace (23). Pharmacy student in St. Louis, has an own apartment.
Pamela (55). Head of four international student offices in Illinois, one son.
Tracy (53). Retired telecom worker. Hosting international students for almost 11 years. Republican.
Bill (56) married gay. Works as a public defender in Chicago.
1. How would you assess the developments in health care (e.g. Obamacare)?
Jace: I think universal healthcare is the way to go, I’m not certain how well we are doing it. You hear things like healthcare costs going through the roof for certain groups of people, which makes me doubt how efficiently we’re doing it, but I definitely think we’re heading in the right direction. Having a debilitating disease shouldn’t make one shackled with poverty for the rest of their lives.
Pamela: Obamacare has been a very bad healthcare plan for the middle class. We were told that it would be great for all of us but in reality policy rates and deductibles went up and coverage went down. People are choosing not to have any coverage and take the penalty which is approximately $700 or a percent of your income (whichever is lower). The lower class gets Medicaid which is free healthcare so they don’t need to have any insurance anyway.
Tracy: The ACA (Affordable Care Act) was a lie form the beginning. Obama told us our rates would go down. They are going up rapidly. No citizen of our country should be forced to purchase a commodity not wanted.
Bill: Shaky, but also a direction we need to go in. Republicans tried to destroy everything. Single pay plan like Europe or Canada.
2. Environment. Do you agree with the signing of the UN climate convention Paris and the general focus on more green energy resources?
Jace: Yes, I’m not sure how much more I have to say about this, stopping global warming should be a priority for everyone. My father works for a petroleum company that has tight regulations on what they can put out into the environment, and even he thinks these regulations should be in place.
Pam: The UN climate convention was a positive for green energy resources and people becoming aware of global warming (if they believe in it – which some don’t). The bad side of this agreement was that it cost the major oil and gas companies even more money to change and update their emission policies again.
Tracy: No. Every country should do what is best for its citizens. I do not object to individual countries doing whatever it deems necessary.
Bill: Agree absolutely.
3. In 2009 the international bank crisis has plummet worldwide economies into depression; at the moment US economy grows again. Did Obama treat the economy well?
Jace: I don’t see how one could say he didn’t. We were in a recession/depression, and now our economy is growing. I would say he handled it marvelously.
Pam: President Bush was the one who put the relief programs in place after the bank crises. Obama took over and continued on with his programs. The policies they put in place still did not stop the economic depression.
Tracy: No. Our economy is growing slower since any recovery since World War 2. The banks should have been allowed to fail.
Bill: Agree absolutely. Unemployment rate went down. Obama has been stonewalled by congress. Better than Bush.
4. Domestic politics. Obama has tried dedicatedly to advertise for stronger gun/weapon rules another big topic was the racism between black and white Americans. How would you describe the success of these two topics?
Jace: I’m 100% for stronger gun laws, making it harder for the guns to get into the hands of those who aren’t stable enough to deserve this privilege, however, I don’t know how much Obama has done to further this cause. I also think that racism between blacks and white are at a lifetime-high. Maybe when I was younger, I never saw it, but now, all you see on the news is protestors and rioters and white people making them all out to be part of the same violent group, even when there are peaceful protestors.
Pam: Domestic policies-we have a black President and racism is worse than ever. What has Obama done to make this better? Please someone let me know. Also, nothing has changed on gun control that I know of – I am all for stronger gun/weapon rules as long as they don’t try to take the right to have guns (this will start a civil war in the US).
Tracy: 1.) Read the second amendment to the US Constitution as it is self-explanatory.
2.) I would object to the use of the word “Racism” until such time as “Black lives matter” and the “Black Panthers” are deemed “Racist”. There is room for improvement on all sides. Obama refuses to see this as a multi-sided issue. Fact-more black citizens are murdered by black folks.
Bill: Gun control success was not that big, because the republicans blocked it as much as they could. Right direction when it comes to racism, still long way to go.
5. The United States see themselves as a strong leader in worlds politics, do you think this behavior is still required? How would you define the US development internationally?
Jace: I believe so, we are world leaders. We are on the permanent five of the Security Counsel of the United Nations. I would believe, even if our nation wasn’t largely involved in international politics, that we should hold ourselves to a high standard, as we are a product of how other countries view us.
Pam: Obama has definitely not helped make the US a leader in world politics – he doesn’t really take a side unless it is against the US. He can definitely speak well and this portrays him as a great leader when unfortunately he is a good orator. I would say the world sees him as this great man that has done so much for the US when if you live here you would understand that it is not true!!!
Tracy: I am not concerned about how the USA is viewed by other nations. For those countries who wish us to mind our own business – when trouble arises – don’t call us!
Bill: Absolutely required. The US has to stay “the biggest badest meanest motherfucker in the valley”. Strong leadership of the US benefits other countries in Europe and around the world.
6. The military budget of the USA in 2015 was $596 Billion US Dollar and with that almost 3 times higher than second rank country China and 4th place Russia ($66 Billion US Dollar). Do you think the military appearance worldwide justifies such big costs?
Jace: I don’t think we need to be as involved in other countries. I believe in defending our own borders, but to send our soldier far away to fight against an enemy without borders is just silly. I think if we spent this money on our own soil, this country could be vastly improved.
Pam: I have no idea how much of a military budget that we NEED but we should have a military presence where we need to at any time and at whatever the cost.
Tracy: I would spend whatever is necessary to keep my country safe – not one penny more. It must be noted, the USA still carries a huge load for other countries, who cannot – or will not – defend themselves.
Bill: Yes, see question 5.
7. Obama considered himself as a valuator of Ronald Reagan’s legacy in the 80s. Are these two Presidents comparable? Do you think Obama has left/opened a new legacy?
Jace: I don’t know enough about Ronald Regan to say whether or not they are comparable, but I believe he has left his own legacy of one of the best presidents we’ve ever had.
Pam: Once again the comparable thing about Reagan and Obama are they are both good orators. Otherwise, Ronald Reagan was a better President than he was an actor. And Obama is a better actor than he is a President!!!
Tracy: There is no comparison. Reagan believed in the strength of the individual. Obama believes in government is the solution – while Reagan saw government as part of the problem. Reagan valued life – Obama is the champion of abortion on demand – stifled religious freedom – highest tax in US (ACA) history.
Bill: Obama opened a new legacy, but both of them were on the right path.
8. Please give a short statement on the 44th presidency. Are you more satisfied or disappointed?
Jace: I’m more than satisfied. He’s dealt with insane criticisms and an extreme amount of prejudice going into the office. He’s the first black president. Because of this and this only, people doubted his country of origin, as if a black person can’t possibly be born in the United States. He has been amazing, and if term limits weren’t a thing, you can bet I’d vote for him for a third term.
I will vote for Hillary Clinton, not because I like her, I cannot vote for Trump.
Pam: 8 long years!!! I will vote for Trump (not because I like his bedside manner) But because I want a President that might actually DO something for the US and make some decisions that will get our healthcare affordable again, make some decisions about immigration, make some major changes to the welfare system (not giving to people who are working the system and too lazy to work), go after ISIS instead of doing nothing about it, back our military and policeman here in the US, etc.
I will not vote for Clinton because things will be the same in the US as they are now!!!
Tracy: Extremely disappointed. Obama sucks!
I will definitively vote for Donald Trump because I do like him.
Bill: Absolutely satisfied. Big Obama supporter. Obama is one of few presidents, who is still very popular after his two terms.
I will vote for Hillary Clinton, she is a bad bless, but still ways better than Trump.